Pressure on Corporate Boards Is Building

Oct 1st, 2014 | By | Category: Corporate Growth


The demand for more women on corporate boards continues to build. Last week Credit Suisse Research Institute shared its results based upon over 3,000 companies globally. Their findings:

“Greater diversity in boards and management are empirically associated with:

  • Higher returns on equity
  • Higher price/book valuations
  • Superior stock price performance
  • Higher dividend payout ratios.

In my blog, “The Next Question Your Investors Will Ask,” my recommendation was that corporations seriously consider adding women/more women to their corporate boards before their investors start asking about boardroom diversity because the evidence was clearly in, even before this latest Credit Suisse Research Institute report, that breaking group think via adding women to corporate boards has a great return.

I also mentioned that, in addition to making good business sense, increasing boardroom diversity could minimize negative publicity as a growing number of advocacy groups are now focusing on this issue. Since then, Crain’s Chicago Business has reported on 9/19/14 regarding Chicago-based Rainbow Push Coalition’s efforts in its article “How diverse is Groupon’s staff? (Spoiler: not very).” BTW, Rainbow Push Coalition has also been asking for workforce diversity numbers from Twitter, Facebook, and Apple.

Our company’s newly released white paper, “More Women on Corporate Boards,” makes a similar statement,

“Social media backlash can be ugly…and hard to control. The PowerPoint slides in this paper can be easily created by just about anyone. These slides, charts, and other visuals in this paper are currently showing/being discussed on LinkedIn, SlideShare, Reddit, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and it can go viral at any time.”

This blog’s opening picture is the first of four slides included in our white paper that show 10 of the NYSE-listed Illinois headquartered publicly held companies that have ZERO women on their corporate boards. Wouldn’t it be much better to be one of the other companies that show on the 11 other slides of corporations with one or more women on their board?

Increasing or starting corporate boardroom diversity with the right profile women* is a wise strategy, both from financial and marketing perspectives.

*Oh, yes, the profile of women on boards has changed, too—over 95% are successful corporate leaders elsewhere with around 70% having earned advanced academic credentials.

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